I am planning a 3 day trip to the Smokeys with my 9 year old and 7 year old. It has been about 9 years since I last did any backcountry camping. I have a number of question and would be grateful for any advice I can get.
1. I need a new tent. I need a tent that will sleep 3. I am looking at the eureka Timberline 4. Is this tent too big/heavy for backcountry? Is there a better option?
2. In the past I used to always carry a tarp to put under my tent so that the floor didn't get wet if it rained and didn't get punctures. Is this necessary with the Timberline 4?
3. I have never camped in an area where there were black bears so i alway kept my food in my pack. My understanding is that I will need to hoist my food up on a tree limb to keep it off the ground. Is there a special way of doing this? is there a kit you can buy? Is there a certain weight of rope that is preferred, etc....
4. This might be a really dumb question but if the bears are so sensitive to food/smell, is it ok to cook on a stove in the backcountry?
5. I have an MSR water purifier(ceramic filter i think) that is about 14 years old and hasn't been used in 9 years. Can I still use it safely?
6. Any suggestions on a nice 3 day 2 night loop in the smokeys?
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated,